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What Is AP?

The Advanced Placement Program® is an academic program that offers university-level courses in specific subjects that you can take while you’re still in high school.

Each AP course culminates in an AP Exam, which tests the skills and knowledge that you learned in the course. AP Exams are standardized and globally recognized. Almost all U.S. and Canadian universities offer credit, advanced placement, or both for qualifying AP Exam scores.

AP courses and exams are available all over the world. Search for high schools in China that offer authorized AP courses.

Why Take AP?

  • To stand out to universities. Taking AP courses and doing well on AP Exams show admission officers that you’ve mastered university-level knowledge and skills. Nearly all universities in the U.S. and many universities around the world recognize AP Exam scores as a standardized measure of academic achievement.
  • To save money. Your AP Exam scores could earn you university credits before you enter university—which could save you money on tuition. Find AP credit and placement policies by university.
  • To save time. Your AP Exam scores could let you skip introductory courses in university. Use the extra time to take on a double major or an internship—or even graduate early.
  • To learn more about the topics you love. In an AP course, you’ll study a subject in more depth than you would in a regular high school class. 


Download a list of universities outside the U.S. that recognize AP for admission and/or credit or advanced standing.


How AP can help you stand out in university applications worldwide

BBC Worldwide Article

Taking AP Exams

AP Exams are given during the first two weeks of May every year.  Any eligible student can take AP Exams, whether they’ve taken an AP course or not (except for AP Computer Science Principles, AP Seminar, and AP Research). However, the College Board strongly suggests that students complete the related AP courses before taking the exams.

In China, AP Exams are administered by two groups approved by the College Board:

  • Closed test centers (Approved international schools).— These schools administer exams to their own enrolled students (usually foreign passport holders). If you’re an international student (non-Chinese passport holder) in China and need a place to test, please contact AP Services for Students to locate an approved school that will administer May 2020 AP Exams to you. Late fees may apply if the student registers after mid-November 2019.
  • Authorized open test centers— see below. These test centers mainly serve students with Chinese National IDs, or some international students who are enrolled at local schools.
    • (Attention!) Students should visit (in Chinese only) for registration dates and detailed instructions. The IECC open test centers only accept registrations during the fixed window.
    • Students who miss a registration deadline may contact AP Services for Students to locate additional test centers, including open centers in Hong Kong and Singapore.


Open Test Centers in China

The College Board works with the International Exchange and Cooperation Centre in Educational Measurement (IECC), China’s largest assessment company, to administer AP Exams at authorized test centers located throughout mainland China.

Visit the open test center website for locations and registration details.

AP Exam Schedule in China

2020 AP Exam schedule

Exams are given only once every in May. Below are exams administered across open test centers in mainland China. Students who wish to take any AP Exams not listed may consider additional open test centers in Hong Kong or Singapore (check for availability).

  • You cannot take 2 exams scheduled at the same time during the Regular Testing period. You can take one of the clashing exams during the Late Testing period.
  • You cannot take both Calculus AB and Calculus BC in the same year.
  • You can take up to all 4 Physics exams in the same year.
  • You cannot retake an exam in the same year. You may retake it in a subsequent year.
2020 AP Exam schedule
Week 1 Morning 8 a.m. Afternoon 12 noon Afternoon 2:00 pm

May 4, 2020

 No exams

Physics C: Mechanics

Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism

May 5, 2020

Calculus AB
Calculas BC

No Exams


May 6, 2020

English Literature and Composition

Physics 2: Algebra-Based


May 7, 2020


Physics 1: Algebra-Based


May 8, 2020

No Exams

Art History
Computer Science A


2020 AP Exam schedule
Week 2 Morning 8 a.m. Afternoon
12 noon

May 11, 2020


Environmental Science

May 12, 2020

Seminar (open only to students enrolled in an authorized AP Seminar at their school)


May 13, 2020

English Language and Composition


May 14, 2020

No Exams


May 15, 2020

Computer Science Principles (open only to students enrolled in an authorized AP CSP course at their school)


2020 AP Exam schedule
Week 3 Morning 8 a.m. Afternoon
12 noon

May 21, 2020


Art History

Note: Check with the test center for the most up-to-date check-in and exam start times.

AP Exam Scores

AP Exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5. Score reports are available online in July to exam takers and to high schools that have AP programs. The College Board also sends an official score report to colleges of the exam taker’s choice.

Learn more about how to get and send your AP Exam scores.

A score of 3 or above typically qualifies students for credit, placement, or both at U.S. and Canadian universities. Over 600 universities outside the United States recognize qualifying AP Exam scores in the admission process.

Download a list of universities outside the U.S. that recognize AP.

Find credit or placement policies by university


  • The SAT Suite of Assessments

    This brochure offers information on the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and PSAT-related assessments, including details on scores, preparation, test dates, and how taking the test can benefit students. In English and Chinese.

    PDF Document 2.77 MB

  • Stand Out. Choose AP.

    This brochure gives a detailed overview of AP courses and exams, with details of particular interest for international students. In English and Chinese.

    PDF Document 12.82 MB

Educator Resources


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